As first reported by Financial News, five DLA Piper partners are competing to be the firm’s next international Senior Partner.
Andrew Darwin, the current Senior Partner, will see his term end in May of 2022, and the process of electing his successor, who will lead the firm’s non-U.S. business, has now officially begun.
The five candidates come from DLA’s London, Hong Kong, and Tokyo offices, and the sole woman in the running is Hong Kong-based Susheela Rivers.
Rivers has been with DLA since 2008, when she joined as a partner from Clifford Chance. Currently, she leads the Hong Kong office as Managing Partner and is also Global Real Estate Sector Co-Head.
Another of the firm’s Asia office heads, Tokyo Managing Partner Lance J. Miller, has also thrown his hat in the ring. Before Miller joined DLA in 2005, he was the Southeast Asia Managing Partner for New York’s Coudert Brothers.
Three London partners make up the rest of the five hopefuls.
After almost six years in his current position, London Managing Partner Tom Heylen has entered the fray. Among his clients are Amazon, real estate investment company Jones Lang LaSalle, and construction company Lendlease. In 2021, he advised Philip Morris on its takeover of Danish business Fertin Pharma for $820 million.
Heylen is joined by fellow London-based corporate partner Jon Hayes, who has been with DLA since 2009. Formerly, he was a partner at Linklaters. Hayes is the lead sponsor of the firm’s LGBT+ Network and this is his second attempt at the Senior Partner position. He ran previously in 2018 and made it through to the second round of voting.
London partner Colin Wilson, who leads the firm’s international projects team and sits on the international and global boards, rounds out the quintet of candidates. He has worked on several major projects while with DLA, including advising the U.K. Government’s Department for Transport on the Heathrow airport expansion.
Per a DLA Piper spokesperson: “As Andrew Darwin’s four-year term as Senior Partner comes to an end, the international partnership is now in the process of electing his successor. Once the process has concluded, the firm’s new Senior Partner will take up the position as of 1 May 2022.”
Revenue for DLA’s international business topped £1 billion for the last financial year and it has more than 40 offices outside the U.S.